image mantell p0087
Image number: RS.9552
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

Portrait of Gideon Mantell




Gideon Algernon Mantell (1790-1852, British), Surgeon


John James Masquerier (1778-1855, British), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number



height (painting): 762mm
width (painting): 635mm


Content object

   > fossil


Mantell is painted at half-length in a black coat and waistcoat with a white shirt and high stock collar. He is clean-shaven with long side-whiskers. Behind, to the viewer’s right, displayed on a cushion, are a large fossil and a smaller bone: apparently the thighbones of Iguandon and a modern iguana.

Gideon Mantell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1825.

Object history

Bequeathed by Walter Mantell, 1859.

The portrait is mentioned in Mantell’s journal, on 3 June 1837: “Mr Masquerier painted my portrait.“ [The journal of Gideon Mantell surgeon and geologist: covering the years 18§8-1852, edited with an introduction and notes by E.Cecil Curwen (London, Oxford University Press, 1940), p.139]. Although the donation is not noted in Royal Society Council Minutes for 1859, the painting was certainly in the Royal Society’s collection by the publication of Weld’s catalogue in 1860. [Descriptive catalogue of the portraits in the possession of the Royal Society, by Charled Richard Weld (London, Taylor & Francis, 1860), p.47]. The donation date appears in later catalogues.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom